Simply stated, Georgia needed to do three things to win on Saturday. It failed across the board and the result was a humiliating faceplant.
Brave The Early Burst
Once the noon kickoff time was announced, it worried me.
You’ll have Georgia coming off a game last Saturday night going up against a bye-week rested South Carolina. In honesty, it would not surprise me to see South Carolina coming out with its hair on fire and putting the fear of god into the Georgia crowd. Key for Georgia will be to despite all things, control the early part of the game.
Oops, the Dawgs defense did it again. For the second week in a row, a coverage breakdown involving Richard LeCounte put an early touchdown on the board for the opposing offense. Overall, Georgia’s offense, not to mention its playcalling, sputtered and misfired and it never got out of its own way.
Between the throwing duct tape against the wall run up the middle approach by James Coley and not being able to consistently force three and outs against South Carolina’s thrd-string quarterback, Georgia did not start or finish well.
Stand Tall Against The Run
One of the better rushing attack on Georgia’s schedule comes its way by way of Rico Dowdle. Georgia has seen marked improvements on its defensive front, ranking fifth-best nationally, and that, among the starters and the guys that Georgia plugs in, will have to continue.
If there’s a way for Georgia to control the way this game goes, it’ll be to force third and longs and take the Gamecocks ground game out of it,
In theory, when you face a third-string quarterback, you should be able to take over the game on defense and force the game into their hands. That did not happen as the Gamecocks were able to sustain enough drives to limit Georgia’s offense drives - and given the Dawgs offensive ineptness, it led to a loss. For the game, Dowdle rushed for 79 yards. As a team, Georgia outrushed South Carolina by only a 173-142 advantage. Given Georgia’s talent in the offensive backfield and alleged all-world offensive line, that’s inexcusable.
Let Fromm be Fromm
The closest thing to Jake Fromm being cut loose and spread the field was last week, and it was Fromm at his best. Whatever the gameplan was last week, James Coley should do the exact same thing.
There’s no other way to slice this one up. Fromm had, by far, the worst game of his career as a Bulldog. When one player alone is responsible for four turnovers - three interceptions and a mishandled snap, you won’t beat many teams.
It wasn’t all on Fromm, however. Uninspired playcalling to consistently set up third and long makes it easy for a defense to defend against the pass, as well.
Georgia has some inexperience at receiver. An inability to get open probably played a role, especially with Lawrence Cager leaving the game with an injury. That said, it’s mid-October, and the lack of game experience has to go out the window at this point.